12/06/2010 03:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

New Jersey Bear Hunt, First In Five Years, Is Underway (VIDEO)

Thousands of hunters of all ages are out in New Jersey's back woods for the state's first official 'bear hunt' in five years. 7,000 hunters have obtained permits to shoot black bears in hopes of reducing New Jersey's bear population. Local activists, however, are up in arms over the recent hunt. New York resident Bill Craine was arrested while protesting Monday's hunt. "We have to respect their right to live," he said as he would put into a State Police vehicle.

But hunters insist the hunt is designed to reduce the danger of the bears' overpopulation. "It's bad," Martin Tanis told ABC 7. "I bow hunt. You go out in the woods, they come at you. I gotta carry mace -- they're not afraid."


At least 40 bears have been killed statewide in the first hours of the hunt. New Jersey officials expect 300 to 400 bears to be killed during the six-day hunt, which began at 7 a.m. today.